Marketing

The Failing 'A' for Why Your Business Is Struggling

The Failing 'A' for Why Your Business Is Struggling
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There is a hole in your business. 

And there's is a sucking sound being made by that hole. It's the sound of your money promptly exiting the bottom line. You are being sucked dry by this hole. 

But there's a way to plug the hole. 

Spending cuts and the reverse, more marketing spending, are both just Band-Aid fixes. The hole will not be satisfied with such measures.  

The hole is your "ask" -- either the total lack thereof or failed attempts to. 

Related: 5 Secrets to Winning More Sales

After all, the ask is the critical factor for achieving bottom-line results. 

Imagine this scenario: A 14-year-old boy likes a girl. He walks her home. He follows her around and picks up her books when she drops them. He even calls a few times and hangs up. Did he ever get a date? 

The same lad, now 24, uses the same tactics. Does he get a date? 

Ahem, the same individual, all of 34, changes his plan and decides to ask his love interest if she would like to go for dinner. Does he get a date? 

I don’t know if he does or does not but he surely increases the likelihood of lining up a date by making the ask. 

Related: How to Increase Your Customer Referrals

Here are three reasons you must address the "ask" hole in your business: 

1. If you don’t ask, you can never be told no. So if you don't ask, you can never follow up and ask why not? It might be that your offering or the way you are positioningit are not hitting the mark.

2. A no can be as good as a yes if it leads you in the direction of achieving actual sales by adapting your product, service or offering.

3. If you don’t clearly ask, the buyer might receive mixed messages. There is a stark contrast between an item on the shelf and another next to it with a price tag. The first item's placement on the shelf implies it's for sale but the price tag makes it clear.

Make sure every message you send has a price tag -- a way for a client to identify what it is you're selling and how he or she can find out about investing in it.

It is noisy out there. You know there are many automobile companies out there and a plethora of coffee companies and even more aspiring musicians. But which ones do you hear about? It's probably the ones who let their presence be known with clear offerings and a concise ask at the right time and in the right place.

It's no longer sufficient to be the best. You have to be the best, make it known and then ask for the opportunity to prove it. 

Don’t be a "ask deficit" supporter. Take this weekend to locate the sucking sound in your business and craft or redraft your ask. You’ll thank me for it.

Related: The Best Way to Ask Friends and Family for Seed Capital